TideLog Posts Tagged “CBS”

With the upcoming Season 3 premiere of Supergirl on The CW October 9th, I thought about how every superhero has an iconic super-outfit that becomes synonymous with the character. It’s part of their identity, and it often aids them in their world-saving missions. It’s important to recognize that what Supergirl wears is a tool that assists her when fighting those who wish to do her city harm, not a fashion statement. In some canons, it’s even a lasting symbol of her Kryptonian heritage.

Because Kara Zor-El is so powerful, she needs her suit to match what she does – one that can keep up with her. And while we know that her friend, Winn, helped to make her suit, that can’t be regular fabric that’s holding up at the speed she’s soaring through the air. While there have been some Supergirl stories in which she can create a small force field around her for protection, other stories mention that her costume is made out of Kryptonian fabric.

So while we don’t know much about what this super suit is made of, we can talk about what it would have to do to be the practical tool Supergirl needs.

The Cape

Kara’s cape is the only part of her costume that we know about in detail. At first, Winn thought that a cape wouldn’t look good. But we all learned pretty quickly that fashion does not matter anywhere near as much as function when you’re fighting bad guys – especially when you’re flying. The famous red cape that Supergirl adorns actually aids with aerodynamics, much like the lycra skinsuit a race cyclist wears does. The cape can cause turbulence in the air that allows her to slow down just enough to bank and make hard turns in the air.

After the cape was punctured by gunfire, Winn made a new cape out of a structured polymer composite. This made the cape much sturdier and harder to tear. And that may have worked just fine if James Olsen hadn’t brought Kara a gift from her cousin, Superman (aka Clark Kent, just in case you aren’t in the know.) The Kryptonian blanket Clark was wrapped in for his journey to Earth is made of much more durable material than anything we have on this planet, and is therefore an even better tool for Kara.

Qualities of her iconic (possibly Kryptonian) suit

As for the rest of her crime fighting attire, Kara needs something a little more advanced than spandex, or even Kevlar, to help her out. Kara has a lot of powers, and her suit needs to hold up in some pretty intense situations. For a lot of reasons, her suit would have to be not only heat resistant, but also fireproof.

The first of these reasons is her heat vision. She’s not only sending beams of heat directly into her line of sight, she’s also warming the air around her. With that strong heat in such close vicinity, a lot of fabrics would fall apart. (The melting point of spandex is around 450 ° F, and Kara easily melts lead at over 600°.)

On top of her heat vision, Kara can fly so quickly, she can break the sound barrier. That’s over 700 mph. That friction would surely cause overheating and cause Earth fabric to rip or burn. Think about the super suit worn by Barry Allen, aka The Flash. It’s an enhanced prototype firefighting suit that Star Labs developed. He needs something fire resistant because of how fast he can run. And we all know from the Flash/Supergirl crossover that Kara can give Barry a run for his money.

Oh, and her suit would also have to be bulletproof. So this isn’t just some pretty skirt and a cape. This super suit is a scientific marvel, possibly from another planet, that can endure a lot more that you’d expect. SuperMel looks pure sweetness in it, and of course badass, when she’s in kickass mode! I grew up in the Helen Slater 1984 movie era, which was where the current TV series costume gets its looks, so it is a design I can relate to, and like.

And that’s why it is absolutely perfect for a kickass hero like Supergirl.

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